• Sweden's news in English

Sweden approves new nuclear reactors

AFP/The Local · 18 Jun 2010, 08:36

Published: 17 Jun 2010 21:32 GMT+02:00
Updated: 18 Jun 2010 08:36 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The centre-right government announced in February 2009 that it was reversing a decision to phase out nuclear power as part of an ambitious new climate programme.

The country had voted in a 1980 non-binding referendum to phase out its 12 reactors by 2010, a target which was later abandoned by officials.

Since 1999, two of the reactors have been closed. The 10 remaining reactors, at three power stations, account for about half of Sweden's electricity production.

The plan voted on Thursday entails that new reactors can be built at the same site as today's three existing plants when they wind down, but no new sites will be approved and the number of reactors in the Scandinavian country will not be permitted to exceed 10.

Parliament ruled that the Swedish state would not be allowed to subsidise the construction of nuclear power initiatives, and also voted to hand reactor owners unlimited damage liability in the case of an accident.

The nuclear reactor replacement plan, which is set to take effect on January 1st 2011, was backed by the four coalition government parties, including the Centre Party which traditionally has been opposed to nuclear power.

However, there was heated debate in the house ahead of the vote and at least two Centre Party members of parliament have said they would" follow the voice of conscience" and vote against the measure.

The three main left-leaning opposition parties were set to vote against the proposal, with Green Party spokeswoman Maria Wetterstrand scolding the Centre Party for siding with its coalition partners.

Voting in favour of the proposal, she said, "could mean Sweden will be making itself dependent on nuclear power for 100 more years and there will be 100,000 years of consequences for future generations who will have to take care of the waste," she said during the parliamentary debate.

Environment Minister Andreas Carlgren, of the Centre Party, meanwhile defended the government's energy proposal.

"It is a myth that nuclear power is forcing out renewable energies. (Renewables) have won the game. Why then exclude nuclear from the plan?" he asked.

Story continues below…

Carlgren also stressed voters would be able to express themselves on the new energy plan, which is set to take effect at the beginning of next year, in the upcoming September 19th elections.

If the three-party opposition manages to climb to power, it is expected to try to reverse Thursday's ruling.

The nuclear plan is part of the government's climate programme, which stipulates that by 2020 renewable energy should comprise 50 percent of all energy produced, for the Swedish car fleet to be independent of fossil fuels 10 years later and for the country to be carbon neutral by 2050.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

00:45 June 18, 2010 by Nemesis
This is good news.

Nuclear, combined with hydro and wind will help to reduce reliance on gas and oil, thereby reducing the hold the Saudi overlords, have on Sverige.

This will help Sweden to maintain stability in Swedish energy prices into the future.

This decision will make Sweden a good long term investment based on stable energy costs.

This is very good long term thinking, planning and investment.

Well done Sweden/Sverige.
01:06 June 18, 2010 by repat_xpat
O' glorious God-King Obama, if the green socialists can do it, so can we! Please let us have nukes too!
01:51 June 18, 2010 by millionmileman
This sounds like a plan, because when Sweden goes to no more fossil fueled cars a decade from now, those wind turbines will not be adequate for all the


Just make sure you have real security on the perimeter.
09:14 June 18, 2010 by Kevin Harris
If people want the lights to go on in 2050, it has to ne nuclear, and probably about 25 reactors. Carlgren knows this. Why can't the govenrment just say it, and forget about all the silly windmills. Normal people will understand, only a few loonies want to go back to the stone age, or bet the economic security of our children on unproven technologies.
09:20 June 18, 2010 by Nemesis
These reactors are a good start for future energy supply stability.

Hopefully ITER will be a huge sucess and we can see a few Fusion reactors sitting alongside these fission reactors, adding further stability to the energy supply. That will further reduce reliance on imported oil from the middle east and other trouble zones.

The reduction in imports of oil and gas will reduce the national debt substantially in the long term and improve the finances of the country.
09:51 June 18, 2010 by isenhand
Oh dear! :(

In the end this will create more problems than it solves. Nuclear belongs to the same category as oil and gas; a non renewable resource. Going for nuclear just shift the problem rather than solving the problem and creates an additional problem; what to do with the waste, which makes it worse than a dependence on oil or gas.

We have absolutely no need for nuclear power!

We can gain all the energy we need from renewable sources such as geothermal, something we have hardly even began to tap.

We also have other options. If we work together with other EU counties we can just use solar and wind.
11:12 June 18, 2010 by CarlBlack
@isenhand: are you an expert in the field? Do you have any idea for how long are the deposits of uranium available? One cannot really consider having just wind and solar energy, there is somehow no solution for the case there is no wind and it is a night :-) The capacity of possible energy storage is orders of magnitude far from what would be needed for that.
11:41 June 18, 2010 by isenhand
"are you an expert in the field?"

Yes, I' a professional engineer with qualification in energy.

"any idea for how long are the deposits of uranium available?"

about 30 year of economically viable deposits "at current usage", much less if we ever want to grow our economy.

"One cannot really consider having just wind and solar energy"

Yes we can but we would need to work together with the rest of the EU. If we did that we could just use solar but I think we would should use wind and geothermal as well.

"energy storage"

No, you distribute production as well as use storage and other types (hence working with the EU and using geothermal as well).
11:41 June 18, 2010 by amuharun
If anything happen like Chernobyl and Bhopal then we have to accept consequences. If there is no better alternative then Nuclear reactor then what shall we do
14:16 June 18, 2010 by dobermann
This is a very smart decision.
14:33 June 18, 2010 by fluberman

Why Bhopal is related to nuclear?


Is it possible to replace 45% of electricity production from nuclear with wind and solar, let say in 2020?
14:58 June 18, 2010 by diegoveggie
i hope they put the nuclear waste in one of these politicians butts'
21:11 June 18, 2010 by wolfbay
Complex technologies can and will fail. An off shore oil leak is a tragic ecological disaster.However compare this to a serious nuclear reactor failure. Countless people would die or get sick.The area would be uninhabitable for 10,000 years and we don't even know how to safely dispose of the waste.Swedish engineers are excellent but they better be perfect. the unexpected happens.
15:02 June 20, 2010 by Attestupa
A really sensible decision. Sweden heads the world in the proportion of electricity generated per head of the population by nuclear power, slightly ahead of France.
18:57 June 20, 2010 by here for the summer

funny kind of expert you are . All the data I find say we have over 200 years of fuel without enrichment


Agree that we should try to develop all renewable but look how many people try to stop wind energy too .
Today's headlines
Revealed: Game of Thrones could be coming to Sweden
Game of Thrones cast members at the Emmy Awards in September. Photo: Jordan Strauss/AP

The producers of the hit show have asked for three rounds of location pictures of Swedish island Gotland.

Prime Minister to meet Swedish troops in Iraq
Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven and his Kurdish counterpart Nechervan Barzani. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Sweden's Prime Minister Löfven is set to meet Swedish troops in Iraq on Tuesday.

Swedish politicians wage war on winter time
Soon it will look like this on your way home from work in Sweden. Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

Should Sweden stick with summer time all year round?

'Don't turn the Pope into a global teddy bear'
Sweden's Queen Silvia and Princess Leonore visiting Pope Francis in the Vatican last year. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

It's time to hold the Pope to account and make sure he turns his words about reform into action, argues a minister of the Swedish Church ahead of Pope Francis' visit to Sweden.

Löfven: 'Sweden will double its number of troops in Iraq'
Stefan Löfven and Haider al-Abadi during the visit on Monday. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven has promised to double his country's number of troops in Iraq following a meeting with Iraqi counterpart Haider al-Abadi on Monday.

Will Swedes soon be looking for fairtrade porn?
Should Swedes think fairtrade with porn? Photo: Karin Malmhav/SvD/TT

A fairtrade attitude to pornography would be beneficial, Sweden's health minister told The Local.

Presented by Stockholm University
Nordic fashion in focus at Stockholm University
Simon Paulin/imagebank.sweden.se

Nordic fashion took centre stage in the Swedish capital last week as Stockholm University hosted the “first-ever” academic conference looking at luxury and sustainability in the fashion industry.

Referee, coach and parents in Swedish youth football fight
File photo of a referee holding a red card not related to the story. Photo: Stefan Jerrevång/TT

A football dad broke his leg in the brawl in front of 11-year-old kids after a Hammarby youth football game.

Illicit abattoir kept more than 100 bulls' penises
A couple of young bulls not related to the story. Photo: Jonas Ekströmer/TT

Dried cattle genitalia, goats' heads and hundreds of litres of lard were just a few of the many strange finds discovered when police raided a property in Sweden.

This is officially Sweden's most beautiful beard
The most beautiful beard in Sweden. Photo: Memo Göcek

According to a jury of barbers and 'well known bearded profiles', that is.

Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Why we're convinced Game of Thrones is based on Sweden
Sponsored Article
This is Malmö: Football capital of Sweden
People-watching: October 21st-23rd
Fury at plans that 'threaten the IB's survival' in Sweden
Blog updates

6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »


8 July

Editor’s blog, July 8th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, It has, as always, been a bizarre, serious and hilarious week in Sweden. You…" READ »

Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Analysis & Opinion
Are we just going to let half the country die?
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Angry elk chases Swede up a lamp post
The Local Voices
'Alienation in Sweden feels better: I find myself a stranger among scores of aliens'
People-watching: October 20th
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
The Local Voices
A layover at Qatar airport brought this Swedish-Kenyan couple together - now they're heading for marriage
Sponsored Article
Swedish for programmers: 'It changed my life'
Swede punches clown that scared his grandmother
Fans throw flares and enter pitch in Swedish football riot
Sponsored Article
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
Could Swedish blood test solve 'Making a Murderer'?
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
Property of the week: Linnéstaden, Gothenburg
Swedish school to build gender neutral changing room
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
People-watching: October 14th-16th
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Man in Sweden assaulted by clowns with broken bottle
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Nobel Prize 2016: Literature
Sponsored Article
One expat's strategy for making friends in Stockholm
Watch the man who discovered Bob Dylan react to his Nobel Prize win
Sponsored Article
Nordic fashion in focus at Stockholm University
Record numbers emigrating from Sweden
People-watching: October 12th
The Local Voices
'Swedish startups should embrace newcomers' talents - there's nothing to fear'
How far right are the Sweden Democrats?
Property of the week: Triangeln, Malmö
Sweden unveils Europe's first elk hut
People-watching: October 7th-9th
The Local Voices
Syria's White Helmets: The Nobel Peace Prize would have meant a lot, but pulling a child from rubble is the greatest reward
Missing rune stone turns up in Sweden
jobs available